Questions tagged [system-agnostic]

For questions that are explicitly not restricted to any one particular system or rules, where the asker wants solutions to the question that are not directly tied to a game's mechanics.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
16
votes
3answers
345 views

How can I arrange my game to facilitate the play of a nonverbal person?

I have a friend who wants to be introduced to RPGs. We played a campaign in a game system of my own creation that went pretty well, but I want to show them a variety of systems so that they gain more ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I get less attached to my characters?

In terms of my preferences, I tend to like a balance between story and dice-rolling, and write 1-2 page backstories for my characters. I also like a cinematic style where failure means a temporary ...
42
votes
16answers
5k views

How does a GM deal effectively with a player unable to lose gracefully?

How does a GM handle effectively a player that overreacts to any negative effects the player's character suffers, like level drain or death?
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What do strategy vs tactics mean in tabletop RPG combat? [closed]

What's the difference between "strategy" and "tactics" in the context of tabletop roleplaying game combat? I have some idea of how these terms differ in English and I've read the SE tag descriptions ...
1
vote
4answers
519 views

How can I encourage my players to use unlimited freedom? [closed]

I'm trying to make rules/game so that players have as much freedom possible. My intention is to concentrate on role-playing, where stats are not that important and the new system I'm building will ...
42
votes
13answers
4k views

Storytelling with lie detection [closed]

Most of the fantasy systems I know have a spell to detect lies, speak with the dead, and the like. Imagine how long great movies like The Usual Suspects or In the Heat of the Night would have ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How can a 'Session 0' successfully align campaign participants' expectations? [closed]

Many GMs - myself included - like to begin a campaign with a "Session 0": a session where the ground rules of the campaign are laid out plainly before any actual play begins. Some topics of discussion ...
15
votes
9answers
811 views

How does one get players to explore more?

In a comment on my answer to What qualifies exploration gaming?, Javafueled commented: It almost begs me to ask the question: How do I get players to explore more? :) – javafueled In order to ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I create a sense of science about magic?

Based off of this question. Magic in many games is considered well-understood, but ill explained (hence 'magic'). Assuming that I control the environment and have a mild will to bend mechanics, how ...
1
vote
1answer
637 views

How can I fudge die rolls when they're made out in the open? [closed]

At some tables, dice are rolled on the table and are open to everybody to see, and this can't be negotiated. This can make it hard for the GM to fudge with the visible part of the results, if the ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of “Prior Career” in Character Generation [closed]

This could be considered related to - but definitely not the same as - What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in play (DIP) compared to develop at the start (DAS) character generation?. ...
10
votes
1answer
490 views

How can I help inexperienced LARP crew to speak confidently?

I've been crewing as part of a particular LARP system for a while now. The roles I play are almost invariably handed to me. I'll frequently have a short brief and 5 minutes of prep before it's ...
31
votes
9answers
9k views

DM is playing mind games with us! [closed]

We are playing modern day campaign with high pressure on realism. Our DM in not very experienced, but appears thoughtful and planning. We played just one session, but there is one glaring thing: Every ...
43
votes
7answers
6k views

I saved my players from a tough battle, what now?

In my last game my players were almost overwhelmed and I saved them, with a NPC joining the battle. My players were bummed out after the fight and had a heated discussion about the fight. How can I ...
32
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I use God as an NPC while being sensitive to players' real-life religious beliefs?

I'm currently running a 3-year long campaign that is coming to an ending in which God is likely to appear as an NPC. Since this is the end of the campaign I won't need to manage it for very long, but ...
13
votes
2answers
673 views

How do I add player agency to a canned adventure?

Our current GM is going to be out of town for a few weeks, so I have decided to try my hand at GMing our group using the We Be Goblins module from Pathfinder. The module is short and has good reviews ...
4
votes
2answers
804 views

How to handle a PC death early in a session? [duplicate]

Sometimes you have to end a session at a very suspenseful moment. For example the group used the whole last session to prepare for a heist or a fight and just as the action is about start you look ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I deal with playing in an ultra-specialized party that is using a different playstyle than my own?

Someone asked a question about how to deal with wanting to play a plan-focused, stealthy character in a group that essentially consisted of melee types playing a 'Kick In The Door, Screaming Death ...
11
votes
3answers
428 views

Isolation and the unknown in modern horror/investigative scenarios

I am currently planning my next long term game and intend to run a Cthulhu based campaign set in the modern era. I have experience of writing scenarios for the 1920's, but am having issues with some ...
16
votes
13answers
3k views

How to help PCs develop a greater backstory

As a GM, I really enjoy those moments when I can tie-in one of my PC's backstories to the greater narrative, either through a choice NPC from one of their backstories or by having a PC development ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

What games have good treatments of sub-Saharan Africa, or fantasy analogues? [closed]

I'm aware of Atlas Games' Nyambe, and I read the Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom sourcebook that White Wolf released for Vampire some years back. Which other books treat the area well, or at least as a ...
3
votes
0answers
136 views

How can I better describe how dangerous an opponent is to players without ruining immersion by simply telling them statistics? [duplicate]

Yesterday I was running the 5th Edition Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure and one of the players was separated from the party. He entered a room in the dungeon and saw three blue guard drakes as ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I correct giving the players too many plot details?

As a beginning DM, I still have to find my way in telling parts of the plot. Twice, I've said things about the plot that I later regretted - once because it wouldn't make sense for the PCs to know ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Android app (or website) to simulate terrain and miniatures? [closed]

Is there an Android app, preferably optimized for tablets, that would allow us to simulate a tabletop gaming setup by allowing us to load a "terrain map" (an image), place and move around player and ...
2
votes
3answers
553 views

My group doesn't really roleplay [closed]

Before I played P&P, I role played a lot in multiplayer CRPGs, mostly in Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2. I played on “persistent worlds” (basically like a small MMORPG with enforced role play) and ...
47
votes
15answers
5k views

How to get out of a story deadlock

As with most of my questions, this is more of a general "how to handle a special situation" and not a plea to solve an existing problem. What is the best way to handle story deadlocks (as in: The ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get my players to be less tense and anxious?

My players are nearly all newbies who prefer a very roleplay heavy campaign with combat that is very deadly, quick and sparse... but I've run into a snag. The party, in-character and out, are ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How to encourage players to work better as a team?

Related: What kind of rules promote good team cohesion? Unlike that question, this one is about problem players, not problem character personalities. There is a group of good friends who I ...
51
votes
19answers
10k views

How can I convince players not to offload a seemingly useless weapon?

Before anything else, I do not aim to just make the PCs want to keep the weapon. I have rather specific criteria, and not following them will earn your question an avalanche of downvotes. Please read ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do RPGs have metaplots?

Lacking a more definitive source, I'm working from the metaplot article on Wikipedia, which says, in part, that The metaplot is the overarching storyline that binds together events in the official ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Method for playing an online text-based RPG that doesn't require everyone to be online at once?

I am contemplating starting up a web-based text game for my D&D group to be played alongside our weekly sessions. The idea would be to play through events related to the main storyline, but not so ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

How to introduce and encourage role playing in non-roleplayers?

I'm going to be hosting a game at the end of the month. Myself, I am a semi-experienced DM but I will be playing with those who know only the basic mechanics of the game or have never roleplayed ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Get players to actually role-play [duplicate]

We are a bunch of newbies, have just completed our first campaign and are one evening into the second campaign. It is now that I noticed that despite playing role-playing games, almost no one is ...
53
votes
7answers
6k views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

My players insist that I use “rule zero” for their benefit. How do I get them to accept that I don't want easier house rules?

I would like to know, why it makes practical sense to have rule zero. I'm not an experienced RPG player, but we play a lot of board games with friends, and what I noticed, is that players often want ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Which is better of the two: effects happening before rolling, or after rolling? [closed]

Plenty of systems use both types of abilities "before a participant A rolls, add bonus/effect to opposed number/roll of Participant B" or "If a participant A would succeed, add bonus/effect to opposed ...
53
votes
9answers
7k views

Make the player roll even if there is no chance of success? [closed]

Let's say you're the GM and the player attempts to do something, but you already know that given his current stats, it's impossible for him to succeed at it. Do you make him roll anyway, or do you ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I create more compelling villains? [closed]

A consistent issue with the games that I've run comes through with villain characters. Not just at the end of an adventure, but overarching villains; movers and shakers of the world. I notice that I ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Rolling dice for non linear distributions [closed]

Background I'm the GM of a role playing group, improvised rule set. I of course have stats for each character and roll dice to determine skill successes and so on. What I do different from the few ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Making my players part of the action instead of being just witnesses

May be somewhat related to this question. First, a word about the setting. We are in a somewhat classic fantasy world with many references to Japanese mythology, culture, and traditions. We are ...
28
votes
11answers
2k views

How can you encourage players to portray a “realistic” reaction to in-game stressful/traumatic circumstances?

This question came to me while I was thinking about killing people in pen-and-paper rpgs. When a character starts his career, in most systems, he is somewhat young. As an example, when you are first ...
43
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight?

One of the assumptions I make as GM is that the players should always be in the spotlight. Sometimes the players find themselves in a situation where they watch NPCs speak to each other. I don't ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you run a political campaign?

Although it's a fair way off yet there's a decent chance that my campaign is heading towards becoming very political. I've considered running political games before, but it seems like it would ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I technobabble without sounding like technobabble?

On occasion, I've had reason to describe obviously fictional technical processes in-character. I'd like to be able to describe on these occasions without sounding like I'm saying utter gibberish. But ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Am I a problem player? [closed]

I GM, a lot, and have GMed a lot of different systems over the years but since leaving my regular group some 5 years ago over the LGBT-bullying I was receiving I've struggled to find, and keep, a game ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise? [closed]

When I played my first two actual RPG sessions in 2013, the GM treated me in a bit... peculiar way. The first session was in Prehistoryk. (For context: it's an RPG system where all PCs are hunter-...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I introduce Life Paths to character generation?

The first time I played* Traveller, I found myself blown away by the detailed character creation, featuring year by year (4 year chunks actually) break down of how your character got where they are ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

A witcher and their apprentice…

In an upcoming game set in the Northern Realms of the Witcherverse, two of my players decided to come up with this character concept: One plays an older established Witcher, the other plays their in-...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

What are possible ways to deal with a player who frequently switches characters?

I have had problems in the past with players who are serial character creators. What I'm referring to are the players who cannot seem to stick with a character more than two sessions at a time without ...
5
votes
1answer
639 views

How do I get my players to stop treating our game like a Video Game? [closed]

I play with some really great people, but I feel as though years of Witcher/DragonAge/Skyrim/Warcraft has left them incapable of exploring a world or making any story of their own. I am often asked: ...

1 2 3
4
5
11